Monday, September 25, 2017

Graves: Showing respect to our flag is showing respect for our armed forces

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

As I travel North Missouri, I catch a glimpse of the American flag almost everywhere I go. It's not just at government buildings; it's prominently displayed at many homes, farms and businesses. It's a constant reminder that we live in the greatest country on earth.

One overly large flag was on display during an important battle in our nation's history and inspired a song we sing to this day.

During the War of 1812, British forces unleashed a brutal attack on Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. The Generals at the Fort had requested to fly what was then the largest American battle flag ever flown. Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer, was being held on a British ship and watched the battle from afar. Awaking the day after the bombardment, Key saw the large American flag still flying high above the fort. He knew that the battle had been won, inspiring him to pen a poem which we know today as "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Eventually, the United States Navy began using the song and, in 1931, Congress officially recognized it as our National Anthem.

Today, whether at meetings, sporting events, or other events, we stand, face the flag, remove our hats and place our hand over our heart while the National Anthem is played.

It's not just a tradition; we do it out of reverence for our flag, our country and those who have selflessly served or are currently serving our nation.

Our flag is a representation of the valor, perseverance and strength of our nation and the freedoms that we are blessed to enjoy. Those freedoms wouldn't exist without the men and women of our Armed Forces. Showing respect for our flag is showing respect for our family, friends and neighbors who have served or are currently serving. We do well to show them that honor every time we get the opportunity.

9 comments:

JP Norris said...

I believe our flag is the embodiment of our country and the ideals that made this nation the greatest on earth. In this, I am in total agreement with Congressman Graves. When the anthem is played and the flag is raised I stand and place my hand over my heart, or render a salute depending on the venue.
But then Congressman Graves goes on to say that showing respect for the flag equates to showing respect for our armed forces and veterans, and by implication, failure to do so equates to disrespect. It is as if he is saying our flag now represents (among other things) a list of people, and the only way a person can be included on the list is to join the military.
I enlisted in 1976 and after 34 years of active and reserve service retired as a commissioned officer. At least six times during that period I took an oath that included this passage: “I…do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
Our constitution guarantees every American citizen the right of freedom of speech. Not just the freedom of speech with which we agree.
I am only speaking for myself here. I realize there are many veterans among us who disagree, and some of that may be expressed in a most emotional way. But, I cannot see how criticizing or coercing a citizen of the United States of America to suspend or hold in abeyance his constitutional rights in any way honors the sacrifices made by those who have served in the military.

Anonymous said...

Well said JP. I do not like the fact that others are implying that NFL players have contempt for our military by protesting what they see as a social injustice. I would ask Congress Graves or any other politician to show one example where a player has criticized our service members. I have 2 honorable discharges. I certainly do not take the protests as disrespect to my service.
And by the way, how many of you stand for the anthem when no one is watching you? How many wear the flag as clothing? That is a violation of the flag. So are the huge flags that are carried onto the field before games. I also see many worn flags around town. Violation! And how many allow their flag to fly over night with no lighting? How many people burn their old flags vs throwing it away?

Anonymous said...

Well said 10:58 as I too am a veteran with 18 months in VN and after watching the Ken Burns episodes on VN feel that our congress and President owe the veterans a apology for the past military mishaps too numerous to mention. Our President cannot truthfully speak to patriotism as he does not fully condemn the KKK or white supremacists on their hate filled ideals and the preponderance of confederate flags at NASCAR events or hanging on so many houses and vehicles driving around. You cannot have it both ways and he has shown his ignorance and total disregard towards the feelings of so many wanting to unite our country and instead panders to his miniscule base of supporters. Our country is divided and will remain so until this buffoon leaves and we get a good person in charge be it a republican or democrat.

Anonymous said...

What about Congressman Graves' military service?

Did he miss his big chance to get a real understanding of what the flag represents?

No draft in his time, but they were taking volunteers.

He's a big talker but it seems that he like many of his fellow big talkers never served.





Anonymous said...

Could it be possible that Congressman Graves had a pilonidal cyst like the internet reports that Rush Limbaugh could have had?

So it could be that Congressman Graves couldn't serve- even if he had wanted to.

But 'Murrica anyway!

http://jezebel.com/5306190/sarah-palin-breaks-flag-code-in-runners-world-magazine

Anonymous said...

A short man...with small hands...all hat no cattle!

Lisa Butler said...

Thank you, JP, for stating your thoughts. I am not a veteran, but I agree with you, and several of the other comments after yours. I wish I could share this. It gives me hope for our corner of SW Missouri that seems to emotionally express a different view. I respect everyone's opinions, but appreciated reading yours. Lisa

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Freedom of speech also carries with it " responsibility "; e. g. The Supreme Court ruled many years ago: one cannot go into a crowded theatre and yell " FIRE"

For a bunch of $2mm/ year jerks to disrespect America while soldiers and sailors ( black, brown and white) get shot at for $40k per year is disgusting and the height of hypocrisy.There are other forums to protest their views of social justice.
Those in the U.K. standing for the British anthem and mocking ours should have had their passports revoked, and left over there-- see if they make $2mm playing soccer

Thank God President Trump had the guts to jump them, BTW, the NFL is losing in ratings and ticket sales
Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice and text

Anonymous said...

Harvey-How does the "cant yell fire in a theatre" apply here? Aren't you the one yelling fire by implying that the NFL players hate our military? Name one NFL player that has stated that they are taking a knee because they hate military service members. You Can't!
As far as pay, supply and demand, remember? Thats the conservative motto.